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I'd like to understand in detail how to set up a living trust - and to understand the tax benefits. I don't have the money to go to an attorney, CPA, or anything like that, but want to make sure I leave something for my daughter. Is it at all pos...
Clearly, any intelligent individual can learn enough about any subject to muddle through if they have the time to do it, and even then the results would be questionable. There are self help possibilities, e.g. We the People or Legal Zoom. But please be aware that all you are buying with these services is paper...they cannot legally give you nor will they give you counsel/advice. I would NEVER recommend using a service of this nature but if you refuse to pay for counsel (from a competent estate planning attorney), these options are second best, If you don't want to pay for this paperwork, you can get it for FREE at the law library. But remember, what you are getting from the library or a legal forms prep service is PAPER ONLY...legal counsel is what you should be getting, and that is not free. Other than law school, I am not aware of any educational service to teach you how to create and understand the law of trusts. There may be a "Dummies" book, I suppose. I hope this helps.See question
there are 3 kids each kid gets 1 house and the fourth house is to be sold
Your question really requires more information. Let's assume that we are dealing with a living trust where the creator of the trust has passed away and the trustee is now attempting to administer the trust under its terms. Please bear in mind that that succesor trustee ( i.e. the new trustee in charge) has a FIDUCIARY duty to the beneficiaries of the trust and will be held responsible for any and all wrong doing, whether intentional or not. With that in mind, I would recommend that the trustee be as transparent as possbile and maintain a detailed paper trail regarding all transactions. That rule would require that the house sale proceeds be placed in a trust account for further disposition, whether payment of bills, distribution to heirs or otherwise.See question
if so is it a percentage or a flat fee or by the hour
The short answer to your question is YES. This however can be impacted by language in the trust document. Most well designed trusts will provide for "reasonable" compensation which translates into what is the market value of such services. Professionals will normally charge a flat fee on a percentages of assets basis; this percentage can range from 1/2% to 1% or more, depending upon the size and complexity of the asset base. I have, however, seen trusts where it is specifically stated that a trustee who is also a beneficiary cannot received trustee compensation. The court can also impact this question if it is asked to do so. Hope that helps.See question
I have an A/B trust but I am not sure which assets to put in the bypass trust. I know i have to put enough to equal the annual exclusion amount for this year, but other than that I don't know what to do. Specifically, what should I do with my rent...
The answer to your question(s) depend upon a number of issues that require the assistance of a qualified estate planning specialist. Though the division and allocation of property to the right subtrust is certainly important, there are a number of other component parts to trust administration that should be considered, i.e. creation of solo trustee authority, notice to successor beneficiaries, etc. Unless you are prepared to spend the time and energy to self educate yourself on this important process, seek appropriate legal counsel.See question
We always use a Grant Deed in our office to transfer real estate of any sort, unless there is good reason to the contrary. The primary purpose of using a Grant Deed is to assure the continuing viability of the underlying title insurance. A quitclaim deed arguably could terminate the title insuror's liabliity under the policy because the insured (you) no longer owns the property and has no obligation to the trust (transferee). Conversely, transfer by Grant Deed imputes certain warranties to the transferor that a title policy would continue to cover. Under most modern policies this may no longer be an issue. Seek legal counsel to discern what makes the most sense in your specific situation.See question
The family and lawyer that was in control of my assets when I was a child was very dishonest. I had a very large trust fund and properties that were put in trust for me. I was suppose to be given everything after my 30th birthday. Instead they ...
From the information provided, if true, it appears that you have been the victim of serious CRIMINAL activity. First thing I would do is gather the evidence you have regarding these allegations and then go to the police or even the District Attorney's office and inform them of this. Hopefully you will be able to support your allegations with sufficient evidence motivating our crimefighters to action. Civil action should also be contemplated. A strong probate litigator should be consulted. Good luck.See question
We've been advised to hold our personal bank accounts in joint ownership, outside of our trusts, to permit easy access by the other in an emergency. Funds in our rental account are owned 50/50. Is this an advisable practice? If estate tax is d...
As a general rule, I NEVER advise clients to hold assets in this manner unless there is an overriding reason to do so. The primary problem revolves around the possiblility of the account being attached in its entirety by a creditor of only one of you, thereby subjecting the assets of all to the debt of only one. Additionally, this may cause the payment of a capital gains tax when none would have otherwise been payable. Regarding an estate tax, you should certainly be prepared to prove appropriate ownership of assets that appear to be in the estate but are claimed not to be. As for the SSN, it only matters if the one receiving income is willing to have all income attributed to him or her for income and other tax purposes. There are better ways to arrange your affairs than using joint accounts. Having said that, if the amounts are relatively small and the account(s) are properly titled with an appropriate POD if applicable, and other factors dictate your usage of this arrangement, it could be just fine. It's all about the facts of the case...and there aren't enough of those for me to comment further. Good luck.See question
How will this affect the homestead exemption? Could it cause mistakes to happen with my mortgage lender Bank of America? I don't plan a bankruptcy, but just in case, how would this affect that situation? To keep the cost down, I am considering ...
Attorney Bergman has done a good job of answering your questions. I want to emphasis however that using a service like Legal Zoom is like purchasing a scalpel and performing heart surgery on yourself. Legal Zoom can provide a form but CANNOT by law provide legal counsel. In this complex arena you should not only have legal counsel, but a specialist in the area of Estate Planning.See question
More specifically, if surviving spouse has run out of money and her only asset is the home she is living in; rather than sell the home, she uses some of the principal from the Residual trust n order to support yourself. After she dies, does the Ma...
The answer to your question lies not in any specific law or rule, but in the trust document itself. The decedant's sub-trust (aka Bypass Trust or B Trust) will normally have a specific section of the trust document that addresses the issue you raise. Look carefully at that section and be guided by the language you find there. A trust is essentially a contract and it's terms set the basis for the trust arrangement and subsequent administration. I suggest you seek legal counsel for proper clarification.See question